Still haven’t read anything saying that 3 wins gives you the series; it’s a best of 7 and the Jets have the talent to come back. By Chuck Duboff

REF

  • Are the Jets in a hole?  Well, of course…but, last time I checked, this is a best of 7 series.
  • Reading social media, one would think the series is over and that the Jets are a terrible hockey team.
  • Let’s remember a few things:
  • 7 years ago at this time we didn’t even have an NHL team.
  • We’ve only made the playoffs once before and were swept.
  • We didn’t make the playoffs last year.
  • So, when I see the Jets still playing hockey on May 19th…I’m going to choose to be thrilled that we have a team that won two series and still has the ability to come back.
  • Rather than writing obits and signs thanking the Jets for a great season…lets keep sending the Jets all of our support.
  • What will it take for the Jets to come back?
  • It sounds cliche, but there is no other way to say it…just play one game at a time…take care of Sunday in front of your great fans.  You beat Nashville in a deciding game 7, take care of the Knights on Sunday afternoon the same way.
  • I would insert Kulakov and Morrow into the lineup and take out Enstrom and Chairot.  Chairot is not playing good hockey…we need better.
  • Jets don’t seem to have that confidence they played with all season…they need to get some cockiness and swagger back into their game.  I give Gallant a lot of credit for playing Ryan Reaves.  He’s getting under the Jets skin…we need to answer that…maybe its time for Big Buff to have a “dance” with him.

    Angry Buff

  • Helley needs to play at his best…he’s fighting the puck a lot at the worst possible times.
  • I like the Little, Perrault, Roslovic line…BUT…they’ve got to score to give us any chance of winning.
  • The Roaring 20’s line has gotta produce more…Laine has 5 goals in these playoffs…and looked much better last night.  Ehlers and Stastny are playing hard, but the results aren’t there…

    patrik-laine-nikolaj-ehlers-092617-getty-ftrjpeg_1evwpr5l1yjts18n4ghkj0i3l1

  • What’s gone into this three game losing streak?
  • a) Giving up the first goal and having to chase the game.  That first goal is so crucial.
    b) Giving up a goal moments after we score; that’s three times now that’s happened.
    c) Marc Andre Fleury.  I give him all the credit in the world…he has single handidly
    shut the Jets down when they were dominating the Knights.
  • RANT:
    I have never been one to complain about referring…BUT.. that was the most horrendous example of OFFCIATING I have ever seen.  It was so one sided against the Jets, it was embarrassing.   That penalty to Scheifele in the first period was the worst penalty call I have ever seen.  Scheif had blood dripping down on his face and was manhandled to the ice…and he was given the two minute minor.  Tyler Myers penalty early in the game was a joke…a wave of a stick and a dive by the Knight’s Carpenter and boom…penalty Jets.  Over and Over in the face off circle, Jets players were being thrown out.

    It would seem to me that the big whigs in New York, headed by Gary BettNBCman, desperately want Las Vegas in the NHL Stanley Cup final…NBC would be drooling.

    THEEEEEEEE WORST OFFICIATING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN A HOCKEY GAME!!

 

So, it’s Game 5 on Sunday.  The Jets fans are going to be loud and really proud of their team.  The Jets are going to come out flying and it’s going to be a 5-1 Jets win and off to Vegas we will be going for Game 6 on Tuesday night.   The series isn’t over folks…let’s cheer on our Jets!!

 

 

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Jets face a crucial Game 4, Goldeyes start a new season and Bombers begin training camp; a busy sports season in the ‘peg!…by Chuck Duboff

 

 

 

 

© Chuck Duboff

Rarely, if ever, has the sporting scene in Winnipeg been so very busy on the May Long Weekend.

The Winnipeg Jets are almost in must win territory.  Facing a 2-1 deficit in the Western Conference Championship series, it’s critical that the Jets play Jets hockey tonight in Las Vegas.  Going down 3-1 in the series would leave the Jets in a very difficult hole to get out of.

Three keys to the Jets getting back in this series:

1.  The Jets absolutely need scoring from players other than Mark Scheifele; Patrik Laine has been frustrated with hitting posts and has to start scoring; if he’s in the lineup, the Jets need 29 goal scorer Nic Ehlers, to be a factor; the third line of Little, Perrault and Roslovic must chip in…and the fourth line led by Adam Lowry needs to do some scoring…they are all very capable…and the balanced scoring from the regular season is what got the Jets as far as they are right now.

Helly

2.  Goaltending…the Jets need Conner Helleybucyk to steal the game and play out of his mind tonight.  There’s no time for fooling around, we need the great, zoned in, Bucky, to help us win this game.

3.  Get an early lead; falling behind this late in the playoffs is a recipe for disaster.  Teams are so good in the playoffs, that once they get a lead, they can lock it down.  It’s crucial that the Jets get that first goal and not allow another early Vegas onslaught like we have seen in the last few games.

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The Winnipeg Goldeyes start their 25th season this evening in Cleburne, Texas.  They will be defending their back to back championships and wouldn’t that be amazing if the Skipper Rick Forney could lead his squad to a three-peat.  The Goldeyes have the starting pitching, led by southpaw Kevin McGovern, Edwin Carl and Charlie Rosario…Forney also made a great pick up last week in getting Alex Boschers who was outstanding in the past two seasons with Wichita.  On offence, veteran Goldeyes slugger, Reggie Abercrombie, returns to lead the squad…he’s joined by veterans David Bergan and Josh Mazola in what looks to be another powerful hitting machine for the Goldeyes.  Several of the new faces in the Goldeyes lineup have some serious pedigree and it will be fun this season to get to know the new players.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers v Saskatchewan Roughriders

Over at Investors Group Field, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers rookies are finishing up their mini-camp and with medicals being done on Saturday…the Bombers vets will join the rookies and begin training camp on Sunday.  It’s nice being able to say that the Blue are set at QB…Matt Nichols is a great CFL QB and has the talent and leadership qualities that a team leans on.  Finding a reliable backup is crucial for the Bombers…one hit to Nichols early in the season and 2018 could be a write off.  The Bombers have some great young Canadian receiving talent…both Drew Wolitarsky and Rashaun Simonise are both serious candidates to give the Bombers the Canadian receiving talent they haven’t seen in a long time.  Defensively it would seem the Bombers have brought in thousands of DB’s to compete for just a couple of jobs.  Last year’s secondary was brutal and needs a major overhaul…hopefully the Bombers scouts have unearthed some talented DB’s who can quickly adapt to the Canadian game.  Another area of major concern is at linebacker; Maurice Leggett is returning from a serious ACL injury, Ian Wild is injury prone and Jovon Santos Knox would seem to be the only American linebacker we can count on.  Name our MLB…anyone, please, name our MLB; here’s hoping the Bombers scouts have found some DB’s and linebackers who can help improve our defence.  Bombers will be fine offensively, but the defence, led by Richie Hall, is very suspect at the this point.

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And…don’t forget there is also horse racing out at Assiniboine Downs this weekend; I think I may take in the horses on Monday afternoon.

GO JETS GO…GO FISH GO…GO BOMBERS GO!!!!!

9 down, 7 to go; led by Big Buff, the Jets overpower Vegas to take a 1-0 series lead. By Chuck Duboff

Let’s do it boys!!! Make it 2-0!!!

Chuck Eclectic Blog

Helly

© Chuck Duboff

“It’s incredible. Did you enjoy yourself? It was awesome. Our crowd is awesome,” Hellebuyck said.   “They were so loud and they helped us carry so much momentum. They are a big factor in this.”

For all those concerned about the quick turn around the Jets faced after the Nashville series…ho hum…just another great effort by the boys from ‘peg city.

It was over quickly.  The Jets came out of the gates flying.  Just a minute into the game, Scheifele, a man possessed, drove the puck down the ice, made a great drop pass to Buff, who ripped home a one timer…and boom…the Jets were off and flying.

Goal

You want to take a penalty against the Jets.  Good luck with that.  Pick your poison:  Stastny, Wheeler, Buff, Scheif and Laine…on the first power play, Vegas was over guarding Scheif…Laine saw this, snuck in behind and Wheels made…

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9 down, 7 to go; led by Big Buff, the Jets overpower Vegas to take a 1-0 series lead. By Chuck Duboff

Helly

© Chuck Duboff

“It’s incredible. Did you enjoy yourself? It was awesome. Our crowd is awesome,” Hellebuyck said.   “They were so loud and they helped us carry so much momentum. They are a big factor in this.”

For all those concerned about the quick turn around the Jets faced after the Nashville series…ho hum…just another great effort by the boys from ‘peg city.

It was over quickly.  The Jets came out of the gates flying.  Just a minute into the game, Scheifele, a man possessed, drove the puck down the ice, made a great drop pass to Buff, who ripped home a one timer…and boom…the Jets were off and flying.

Goal

You want to take a penalty against the Jets.  Good luck with that.  Pick your poison:  Stastny, Wheeler, Buff, Scheif and Laine…on the first power play, Vegas was over guarding Scheif…Laine saw this, snuck in behind and Wheels made the perfect pass to the kid and boom…it’s 2-0.

It really looked like the Jets were toying with the Knights.   It looked like a great team playing against an expansion team.  Vegas had no answer for Big Buff.  He is playing great hockey right now…scoring, defending and hitting…there’s nothing the big man can’t do when he puts his mind to it.  Right now it looks like Buff can taste his second Stanley Cup and is taking over games.

Fleury

Mark Scheifele…superstar.  With 12 goals now after just one game of the third round, Scheif is only 3 back of Syd Crosby for goals in a playoff year since the year 2000.   All time the record is 19 goals in a playoff season, which was set by  Reggie Leach.  Right now Scheif is playing like the elite player he has worked his whole life to become.  He’s a force out there with the puck and seems to relish unloading punishing body checks.

I was concerned that the Jets would not be focused on game 1 after the high they must have felt beating Nashville.  Yet all the players were commenting after the game what a great job the coaching staff did in preparing them for Game 1.  They followed their mantra which carried them through the whole season.  Enjoy the win for a few minutes, put it behind you and get focused for the next game.

One wonders how much the energy of a raucous crowd fills the emotional tank of the players.  Bell MTS Centre just keeps getting louder and louder with each game.  It’s gotta be a rush for the players to come out to that kind of support.  They know what they have to do …play their game…don’t worry about anything else, just play Winnipeg Jets hockey.  Whether it’s outstanding play by Jacob Trouba, great hustle by Nic Ehlers, shot blocking by Brandon Tanev, great passes by Wheels or steady goaltending by Conner Helleybuck, these Jets know exactly what they have to do to win.

Play Winnipeg Jets hockey…it’s that simple.

9 down…and just…7 to go boys!!

Winnipeg Jets vs Vegas Golden Knights…your guess is as good as mine!!…by Chuck Duboff

 

© Chuck Duboff

I do know a little bit about hockey, but have to admit that I have no idea what is going to happen in this Western Conference Final between the Winnipeg Jets and the Vegas Golden Knights.  Both teams have earned their right to still be playing hockey in the middle of May; say what you want about Vegas, but they had a great season and have dispatched both the LA Kings and San Jose Sharks.  You don’t do that without any talent or solid coaching.

So, what to expect.  My first concern is Game 1 tonight.  The Jets are saying all the right things about just going out and playing their game, but it’s been less than 48 hours since beating Nashville…and the Jets have got to be both physically and mentally fatigued.  Meanwhile, Vegas has had a week of rest and come to Winnipeg fresh and ready to take on the Jets.

Jets Vegas 4

It will be a speed game; both teams emphasize playing with speed and this could be a track meet from the drop of the puck in Game 1.  I don’t anticipate a lot of physicality in these games, but would give a slight edge to the Jets in this department.  Listening to the experts talk, it sounds like its important for the Jets forwards to get on the Knights D-men as they are trying to get the puck out of their zone…there’s a tendency for mistakes if they are harassed in their own zone.  As for goaltending…it’s a toss up…of course Marc Andre Fleury has been sensational and deserving of all the praise he has been getting; but, Conner Hellebucyk, in his very quiet way, has been just as good.  It’s a cliche to say that whoever gets the better goaltending will win, but, whoever gets the better goaltending will win.  (you like that?..lol)

 

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If the Jets can win both games 1 and 2 at home, I see this being a very short series, but if Vegas can steal one in Winnipeg, I can see it going 6 or 7 games.  I really struggle with making a prediction when I don’t know much about Vegas, but, if pressed, I will say Jets in 6 games.

8 Down, 8 to Go!! “Jets vastly superior to Predators when it mattered most” Sportsnet!! by Chuck Duboff

4

  • There are four teams left playing hockey…and the Winnipeg Jets are one of them!!
  • What a perfectly played game of hockey by the Jets…could not have asked for anything more from this team.
  • Your best players need to be your best players!!  Sheif and Wheels and Stastny were outstanding, while Conner Hellebucyk continued to give us Vezina calibre goaltending.
  • I was lying by the pool in Puerto Vallarta on trade deadline day and Geoff was texting me all the transactions that were going down; suddenly, I got a text that said that the Jets had got Paul Stastny in a trade for our first round pick; I literally kept looking at the text to make sure what I was reading was correct…and it was!!  That was the final piece to the puzzle…Bryan Little is not longer a second line centre and getting Stas slotted him perfectly to the 2nd line centre with Patty and Fly…what a trade, what a trade!!

    2

  • That’s what Geoff and I were talking about with the Lowry line; crash, bang, control the puck and chew up minutes of offensive zone time.  I don’t care if that line never scores another point…what they do is so critical to this team’s success.
  • That top line of ours, Scheif, Wheels and KC, outdueled the Johanson line…what a performance by Mark Scheifele, setting a record for most road goals in an NHL Stanley Cup playoff series.

    1

  • Our defence was outstanding, just outstanding; they kept the game simple and made smart passes all night long; full credit to Trouba, Morrissey, Buff, Enstrom, Myers and Chairot…well done boys!!
  • Watch the replay of the game…when PK scores a goal, Jim Hughson acts like there was a cure for cancer…Jets score and it’s just a normal call.  PK is an embarrassment, much like Marchand…that dive on the Conner so called penalty was a joke.
  • Though he hasn’t hit the back of the net, Nic Ehlers played one fantastic game last night…he was flying around the ice, forechecking and making plays.
  • However, I don’t know if it’s the pressure of the playoffs…but, Patrik Laine looks slow and like he could lose ten or fifteen pounds.  He’s sure not at his best.
  • Loved watching the reaction in the press box…Chevy, Chipman, Zinger…they’ve worked long and hard to get to this point and deserve all the satisfaction they are deriving from this long playoff run.
  •  Looking back on the series with Nashville…I’d give the Jets the nod as the better team, but, Nashville was right there all the way…great series.
  • Don’t know much about Vegas…but, they deserve much respect…you don’t get this far into the playoffs being a ho hum team.

    5

  • Is there any way for the Jets to sign Stastny…with all the contracts coming up, it’s going to be tough.  The only way I could see it happening is if he wants to play on a contender for many years.
  • That first game tomorrow night is going to be a tough one for the Jets.  A quick turnaround from last night…little time to prepare or get any rest.  I think at this point, my bigger concern is preparation for the Knights.  I’d imagine the Jets have had scouts watching the Knights…but, implementing systems on such short notice will be tough.
  • That being said…there are just four teams left playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs; the Winnipeg Jets are in the Final Four.  How Sweet Is That!!!

    3

  • And how many wild and excited fans will there be downtown on a Saturday night on a nationally televised game across Canada and the United States!!

Chuck & Geoff: some strategy suggestions which may help our Jets.

GAME DAY!!! JUST WIN BABY, JUST WIN!!

Chuck Eclectic Blog

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© Chuck Duboff & Geoff Brookes
For fans waiting anxiously for puck drop at 7 o’clock, here’s some Jets strategy recommendations for you, courtesy of Geoff and Chuck,  to while away the remaining hours:
  1. Nashville clearly has the Jets favourite plays mapped out in advance, and are well positioned to meet the plays head on. The Jets need to improvise more and avoid being static. Try something new, and always, always keep moving. I’m thinking of Ehlers setting up Laine for a shot (deflection of Stastny) in game 5. I’m also thinking of the chaos the Jets created in the Nashville zone on Byfuglien’s goal in game 5.
  2. Seriously consider replacing Joel Armia with Jack Roslovic; we need Roslovic’s speed and creativity…Armia is in one of his funks and we can’t have that now.Scheif ties the game
  3. Similar to point #1, Nashville knows where the Jets forwards are positioned for the zone…

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Chuck & Geoff: some strategy suggestions which may help our Jets.

img_3626
© Chuck Duboff & Geoff Brookes
For fans waiting anxiously for puck drop at 7 o’clock, here’s some Jets strategy recommendations for you, courtesy of Geoff and Chuck,  to while away the remaining hours:
  1. Nashville clearly has the Jets favourite plays mapped out in advance, and are well positioned to meet the plays head on. The Jets need to improvise more and avoid being static. Try something new, and always, always keep moving. I’m thinking of Ehlers setting up Laine for a shot (deflection of Stastny) in game 5. I’m also thinking of the chaos the Jets created in the Nashville zone on Byfuglien’s goal in game 5.
  2. Seriously consider replacing Joel Armia with Jack Roslovic; we need Roslovic’s speed and creativity…Armia is in one of his funks and we can’t have that now.Scheif ties the game
  3. Similar to point #1, Nashville knows where the Jets forwards are positioned for the zone tip-ins on breakouts. The Jets should be sure to keep 2 forwards together (maybe 10-15 feet apart) on those breakout passes to give their defensemen 2 tip-in targets, or to do 3 way puck movement before a shoot-in. The third forward should be ready to speed into the offensive zone from the opposite side. Again, improvise, instead of using the same plays they’ve used all season.
  4. The TLC line has to put more pressure on the Pred’s D; more hitting and forechecking.
  5. Joe Morrow to replace Toby Enstrom…not saying yes or no…but, it should be a strong consideration.  Morrow brings more speed and a great shot from the point.
  6. The Jets forwards need to get really deep down in their own zone to assist the
    defensemen with passing targets, and to help with puck battles along the boards . Again, the Jets need to have players working together, not being too far apart to help.

    Paul-Maurice-wife-Michelle-Maurice-pic

  7. Coach Maurice has to be ready to counter any new Preds strategy…no sense waiting now Coach; if they’re doing something that’s shutting us down, you’ve got to do something.
  8. The Preds have figured out our Power Play; do something different…get Buff in front of the net with Trouba or Myers at the point; let Buff be a big screen…and get the boys making crisp, fast passes.
  9. Always have at least 1 man high- 2 men high on a blue line pinch. The Jets are doing this well. They need to keep this up.
We’re not saying that the Jets *will* do these things – but we are saying that they need to do these things to win game 7.

Laviolette does it again; not only neutral zone trap, but buries the Jets power play!! …by Chuck Duboff

To quote Blake Wheeler: “we didn’t play with the desperation that they did.” Game 7 tomorrow boys…it’s time for desperation!!!

Chuck Eclectic Blog

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© Chuck Duboff

By the end of the first period in last night’s game 6 between the Winnipeg Jets and the Nashville Predators, it was obvious to any knowledgable hockey fan that once again Peter Laviolette had come up with a plan to stifle the Jets vaunted power play.

In a 1-0 game, the Jets got three power play chances in the last half of the first period.  Not only did they not score, they were not able to muster any offensive zone time…on a POWER PLAY.  Laviolette had his penalty killers aggressively going after the Jets power play and not letting them set up.  Every time the puck went to Wheeler on the wall, a Preds player went right after him…same with the point and Big Buff…they went right to him and he was never able to unleash his cannon.  The whole power play was disrupted and you could…

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Laviolette does it again; not only neutral zone trap, but buries the Jets power play!! …by Chuck Duboff

Coaches-1024x581

© Chuck Duboff

By the end of the first period in last night’s game 6 between the Winnipeg Jets and the Nashville Predators, it was obvious to any knowledgable hockey fan that once again Peter Laviolette had come up with a plan to stifle the Jets vaunted power play.

In a 1-0 game, the Jets got three power play chances in the last half of the first period.  Not only did they not score, they were not able to muster any offensive zone time…on a POWER PLAY.  Laviolette had his penalty killers aggressively going after the Jets power play and not letting them set up.  Every time the puck went to Wheeler on the wall, a Preds player went right after him…same with the point and Big Buff…they went right to him and he was never able to unleash his cannon.  The whole power play was disrupted and you could sense the frustration in the Jets players.

That’s two games now where coaching has made a significant difference in the outcome.  Implementing the neutral zone trap in game 4 also stifled any Jets offence…credit to Nashville coach Peter Laviolette for not standing pat, but bringing out a new game plan to shut down the Jets.  Additionally, getting Scott Hartnell on the ice and under Buff’s skin was also been a smart idea.

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What now for the Jets?  To start, I would find a way to get Jack Roslovic in the lineup…put him on the line with Bryan Little and Matthieu Perrault.  On the power play there’s gotta be an emphasis on faster passes…last night I noticed several soft passes which allowed the Preds to intercept the puck and shoot it down the ice.   If the Preds get the lead Thursday night and set up the neutral zone trap, the Jets have to dump the puck in and skate hard to get it…it’s game 7 and there’s no standing around.  Every shift matters…you gotta make it count.

I think there were a lot of nerves in the young Jets players…and I would include the likes of Scheif, Trouba and Lowry…they haven’t experienced this deep a run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Conner, Ehlers, Morrissey, Laine, Helleybucyk, Roslovic, Copp, Tanev…this is all new…

The onus is on Coach Maurice now to come up with a game plan that will give the Jets a chance to win…status quo won’t do it Coach!!  You gotta one up Laviolette.